Robert Darnton’s Panizzi lectures at the British Library will provide a detailed account of how censorship operated under three authoritarian regimes, Bourbon France in the eighteenth century, British India in the nineteenth century, and Communist East Germany in the twentieth century. The discussion of those lectures, or at least the first two of them, in this seminar will provide an opportunity to explore the possibility of developing a general approach to the history of censorship. Empirical case studies may provide such diverse types of evidence that generalization seems impossible, and theoretical interpretations of censorship vary from the liberal to the post-structural. How to make sense of it all?

Panizzi Lectures


The Panizzi Lectures will take place on January 6, 7, and 9 in the British Library Conference Centre. Details at The seminar is intended to be a forum to discuss issues raised during the lectures.

Date and time: 08 January 2014, 17:00 – 19:00

Venue: The Senate Room (Senate House, First Floor)

Event details






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